Saturday, December 3, 2011
Maybe Someday Toronto Will Beat Boston, But It Didn't Happen Tonight
However you want to explain it, the Boston Bruins completely owned the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011.
The B's (16-7-1) capped off four straight wins over the Maple Leafs (14-10-2) so far this season with a 4-1 triumph tonight at TD Garden.
Two more points continued Boston's streak of grabbing points in 14 consecutive games while ensuring that Toronto won't get another crack to break this pathetic, one-way series (23-6) until March 6, 2012.
Tuukka Rask (4-4-1) is taking advantage of his increased playing time; he made 21 saves this evening for his fourth win in his last five starts. Is it too early to start singing the same song I have the last few years about Rask and Tim Thomas? The one about how they are the NHL's best goaltending duo? Great.
The Maple Leafs finally got their star goaltender James Reimer (4-1-1) back after he missed almost a month and a half with a mysterious neck injury. He made 26 saves but the B's still handed him his first loss.
My best possible explanation for the Bruins' domination of the Leafs is that they are a terrible matchup for them. Boston is deep and physical with outstanding goalies. Toronto has one superb line but they seem to struggle against tight checking teams that don't give up soft goals or too many odd-man rushes.
After a scoreless and pretty dull first period, things opened up with David Krejci (5th of the season) scoring at 4:20 on a beautiful feed from Nathan Horton. Milan Lucic (2 assists) had the other helper as the suddenly richer Krejci one-timed it past Reimer.
Mikhail Grabovski (7th of the season) tied it 48 seconds later with an absolute bomb over Rask's shoulder from a tough angle. Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, that was about their only highlight from this contest.
Chris Kelly (10th of the season) got the game-winner at 13:11 after a instinctive pass from Rich Peverley. Andrew Ference had the other assist as Kelly broke to the net and Peverley found him in tight to the goal.
Johnny Boychuk (3rd of the season) added an insurance goal on the same shift that he delivered a big hit too. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand assisted on the Johnny Rocket (copyright Jack Edwards).
Horton (7th of the season) had the last goal at 14:36, a nice wrist shot from Krejci and Lucic. All that remained was a random fight between Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo and Maple Leafs forward/greatest name in the world nominee Joey Crabb.
Steven Kampfer and Jordan Caron were recalled after the game which is a good idea since this should be a taxing upcoming week for the B's. They have four games in six days starting on Monday with three on the road.
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference square off in Pittsburgh on Monday night as the Bruins take on the Penguins. Boston travels to Winnipeg for a back-to-back game on Tuesday.